Eye Filmmuseum sharpens the senses with Xtended, an ongoing programme dedicated to VR installations by international artists and filmmakers. Renowned makers have pledged their participation in the series. It is the first time that a museum has devoted structural attention over several years to virtual reality as a cinematic art form.
Rising by Marina Abramović, produced in collaboration with Acute Art, confronts viewers with the climate crisis engulfing us offline. Abramović’s avatar beckons you from within a glass tank, slowly filling with water from the waist to her neck. When you make contact, you can either make the water level rise or decrease by making commitments. Fourth edition of Eye’s virtual reality programme Xtended.
Marina Abramović’s Rising addresses the effects of climate change by transporting viewers to witness rising sea levels. Wearing an immersive headset, viewers enter an intimate virtual space, where they come face-to-face with the artist, who beckons from within a glass tank that is slowly filling with water from her waist to her neck.
Users are invited to make contact with the virtual Abramović, and then find themselves surrounded by a dramatic scene of melting polar ice caps. Abramović urges viewers to reconsider their impact on the world around them, asking them to choose whether or not to save her from drowning by pledging to support the environment, which lowers the water in the tank.
the body as canvas
Abramović’s pioneering performance career has centred around time-based work, which uses both hers and the public's body as a canvas. She has continually pushed the boundaries with durational work that has defined contemporary performance. With Rising, the artist’s presence is brought into another dimension.
To produce the artwork, Acute Art developers captured the artist’s unique facial expressions to create a realistic-looking avatar of Abramović. Embracing new technology in an endeavour to transmit the presence of the artist virtually, Rising allows users to directly interact with the artist virtually from anywhere in the world.